I was tore, my brother hit me with his belt when I refused the aged groom …. The first night was a nightmare, I was ashamed of what we did. I was not a happy Cinderella after that. I was pregnant at 12…. those are what child brides are telling us, their testimonies are terrible! How do you feel if your little 12 years old girl is getting married and for life in a country like Lebanon? The white veil will change into black chains!! (picture source)
In Lebanon, Child Marriage is not well criminalised and this shocks me greatly!
We have a law protecting minors “kanoun ahdass” , a law that transcend the sects ( 18 confessions in Lebanon) but regarding marriage issues even this law is not clear. There is a blank!!
Our Lebanese Penal Code the famous “kanoun el oukoubat” permits a child marriage with the CONSENT of the parents or the “wali“.
For me this is a disguised human trade: It means a dad can “sell” his children and this is protected and covered by the Lebanese law!!
I have been shocked by what Abeer abdel Samad from the Ministry of Social Affairs Speech during a conference on Child Marriage organised by RDFL told us: MOSA (Ministry of Social Affairs) has discovered that children are “taught” what to say in front of a religious leader by the “waseet” it means the one who find a husband for the children!! Ahhhh!!!
Moreover, and More terrible for me is our Penal Code in Lebanon: it does punish a religious leader that married a minor or a child without the consent of the parents (father) with just 500 000 LL !! almost 300$ Only!!! the price of a cheap mobile phone!!!!!
This article number 483 of the Penal Code in Lebanon needs to be amended Asap!!
for those who read arabic here is the text of the article 483 of the Penal Code in Lebanon :
المادة 483 – زواج قاصر
عدلت الغرامة الواردة في المادة 483 بموجب القانون رقم 239 تاريخ 27/5/1993 على الوجه التالي
اذا عقد أحد رجال الدين زواج قاصر لم يتم الثامنة عشرة من عمره دون أن يدون في العقد رضى من له الولاية على القاصر او ان يستعاض عنه باذن القاضي عوقب بالغرامة من خمسين ألف الى خمسماية ألف ليرة
In my opinion we must act and amend and change this article
1-Punishment should be more severe ( prison, triple or quadriple the amount of money the religious leader will pay?…)
2- We (as Lebanese activists, parents, citizens,…) cannot accept that children are forced to get married by their so called “parents” because of economical problems! If a minor get the consent of his parents “father” they can easily get married!! and no one will lift a tiny finger after that to help the poor child, that might be abused, that might get an early pregnancy, that might, as one of the Lebanese child bride testified in the movie get violented by the family in law, ect.
3- We need to clearly say no to #Childtrade and to #Childmarriage in Lebanon. That is in my opinion a form of it!!
For those who are interested in joining forces and mobilise against child marriage in Lebanon,
here are some readings and sources:
1- My previous post of February 1 2014 related to Child Marriage: Join the Movement to end Child Marriage in Lebanon (French)
2-My previous post of January 25 2014 related to child bride : Early marriages in Lebanon who helps the bride child ? (English)
3- The article of Layal Timani in the Legal Agenda of 1 February 2014 (Arabic)
4- The article of Nermine Sibai in the Legal Agenda (Arabic)
5- The article of Ana Maria Luca in NOW Lebanon of 30102013 : Lebanon’s child brides (English)
6- The short video created by NCLW, IWSAW and LAU to shed lights on the terrific consequences of child Marriage in Lebanon: Campaign against child bride : Early marriages In Lebanon (Arabic with english subtitles)